Tough attempt to remove sexual photos from the Internet

Deleting them is now easier than ever, but intimate content shared without permission could hang around the web for decades

It all started 15 years ago in 2008. Raquel C. was at the time a very active user of the social network MySpace, a site where young people from around the world interacted on their own grounds. music taste, What began as a cyber affair soon turned into a sinister nightmare, with their photos being published on other social networks and Internet forums.

a trauma that other less anonymous women have also gone through, such as scarlett johansson one of two Jennifer Lawrence, This young woman from Alcalá de Henares, who was only 18 at the time, had hundreds of friends on MySpace. Some familiar and distant people. it was in this social network where he contacted a young canaryespecially from Tenerife, leader of a rock band Which he prefers not to record, as he keeps coming back to the same environment again and again. A rock that flirts with blasphemy, whose satanic symbolism is intertwined with the taste and rebellion of this young Madrid woman.

long distance cyber relationship

She, whose first and only boyfriend was another boy her age with whom she shared a class in high school, allowed herself to be fooled by the long hair and rudeness carried by that boy from the Canary Islands. “His profile was filled with pictures of him playing guitar in the dark, with his hair covering half his face, and several others sporting a spiked belt and a inverted cross pendant, She was a girl, of course I was supposed to like her. “He was totally aggressive,” says Raquel, remembering the first exchange of messages.

there was a time when guessed to be cyberboyfriends with friends And hid among the family members in shame. They exchanged lots of messages, even leaving some public comments on their respective MySpace profiles. Her friends, obsessed with the adult and stereotyped image of being the leader of a gang, encourage Raquel to meet her in person after months of words that, interspersed with nightfall and betrayal, they Used to share from twelve to three and till four in the morning.

“I was so deeply in love that I hardly slept, maybe it didn’t help me to think about things,” explains this young woman who is already in her thirties. They finally meet, he buys her a plane ticket and, in Tenerife, Raquel lives the life she imagined 15 Best Days Of His Little Life, Her age and the fact that, at the time, the internet was still a pretty new thing, led her to make some bad decisions, driven by the passion of young love and the innocence of the moment.

During his stay at the Tenerife home, he allowed himself to be photographed without any clothes on and in a position that left nothing to the imagination. A young woman from Alcalá underlined, “I didn’t let him record us during the act, I only allowed him to photograph me naked because he told me he liked my body.” Upon returning home, they continued the conversation and made plans for the next meeting to be held on the peninsula. One night, at dawn, he asked her to draw the name of his musical group on his body, naked, with a felt-tip pen, and sent him a picture of the nights he missed her.

Some not so intimate pictures: “Of course I agreed, I thought he was my boyfriend and i found it sexy to write on my bare chest, I took advantage of a mirror so I could see myself completely and with my legs wide open. I really thought only he would see them,” Raquel explained as her face changed. The boy had other plans and ended up with more than two eyes contemplating Raquel since her mother brought her into the world.

For many years he has been looking for his pictures in many places. They were first found on MySpace. Another member of the rock band shared it on his music group’s profile, and bragged about the hardcore fans who were kind enough to take these kinds of photos. “At that moment I didn’t think it would be the smartest thing not to include my face in the picture, but i didn’t know what would happenRachel continues.

intimate photos out of control

Her first reaction was to cry, tears of helplessness and shame. Later, she called her boyfriend to ask for an explanation. “He confessed to me that he shared them with his band just to brag about girlfriend, “Obviously, he got away with what his friends did,” Alcala says. As if it was viral material at the time and despite being a completely anonymous woman, Raquel has found her photos in all kinds of places on the network. Internet forums, blogs about music bands and festivals, even erotic content pages.

It was totally out of control. The downfall came when, in the area of ​​the ‘heavy’ bar in Madrid that he ran, he saw with surprise his photo pasted on the bathroom wall, with that infamous logo painted with a marker between his chest and chest. it was done, with your mobile phone writing on the bottom. As if it were an erotic phone ad or some similar service. Not only was her picture circulating the internet uncontrollably, but the ‘disgrace’ she felt had come true.

“I found out it was a group of girls and boys who knew me because of going to the same concert. Years later I tried to talk to one of them about it, but she ignored it, It was another reality I had to absorb, how little they knew about the damage they had done,” Raquel says, holding back tears. At that time it did not even occur to him to inform about it. He tore up the poster and spent several years without returning to those places, MySpace was deleted and he fell into depression, which he began to deal with after several months.

“I stopped going out, I gained weight, I could hardly sleep and I spent nights trying to find where my pictures were and read the comments they had made about them. Even in other languages Too. They picked out flaws, talked about my breasts and my belly, others told me in detail what they would do to me. It was driving me crazy,'” explains Raquel.

forum without rules

At that point he only thought of writing to MySpace and after several insistent messages, he deleted the music group’s profile, which included his picture. But the nightmare didn’t end there: He kept seeing pictures of her on forums for years. They contacted each of the administrators of these sites and only silence received, Many of these websites operate like the Wild West today. “Many people have ads and, the more users, the more money they get. They profit from pictures of girls that appear on these sites they probably don’t even know. The amount of torture they issue from each She’s nauseous. My doctor told me I think the first thing I had to do was stop reading what they said about me. It just finished me off”, says Raquel.

neither fades nor is forgotten

content creator ferret rolera He experienced something similar years ago, photos from when he was a minor and, as he explains on his social networks, are still being shared today. In Raquel’s case, these happy pictures, which have haunted and tormented her since 2008, only existed 4chan, reddit and some of the heirs of what was Hispachan, Posting this type of personal material can have disastrous consequences.

in Italy, Titian Canton She fought and suffered a long legal battle to get some of her sex videos that she had shared privately, removed from the internet. He couldn’t escape that “Sty making videos? Well done!” (Are you filming? Good!). In Italy, T-shirts, mobile phone cases and all kinds of merchandise were made. Young Italian woman moved to another city and was in the process of changing her name when it surfaced dead, had a scarf around his neck Tied to a fitness equipment.

A case of alleged suicide that was reopened in 2021 involved exhuming the body after DNA remains of two men were found where they found Canton. “When some aspect of our privacy, such as photographs or videos of sexual material, is exposed to public view, it is normal to feel shame. I work with my patients on acceptance, because they cannot make people divert His pictures. Naturalization of nudity and trust in other people, which is usually completely lost after such an incident. Always with a certain amount of caution, of course, knowing what tools they have available,” says Christina FernandezPsychologist specialized in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Madrid.

removal tool

After many years, Raquel resorted directly to the services that different social networks have, such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok, Although this type of ‘aid’ is relatively new, years ago there was no specific protection method. The problem is that some of these solutions only work on their own websites and even require reporting each piece of content individually. Which means that the victim herself has to periodically review photos and profiles in search of their photos.

A few months ago, the young woman from Alcala de Henares found out about through a post on Twitter, a tool that worked even before it leaked. manufactured by revenge porn helplinePart of the SWGFL organization dedicated to promoting the safe use of technology around the world, this application is able to scour the Internet and find and initiate the process of deleting photos.

In this way, the bad taste of drowning in trauma in search of images can be avoided. Online And, incidentally, to see everything that has been written about them. In fact, this tool is also used to protect images before they are shared, for example, during ‘sexting’. It is true that trust comes first, but there are thousands of couples who have broken up and one of them has uploaded intimate pictures on the internet to take revenge, hence the name of this organization, Revenge Porn Helpline. Pornography).

StopNCII doesn’t even require you to upload the content it needs to detect and remove. Through a form, the device from which it is accessed (PC, mobile phone or tablet) the photos are indicated, both those that they want to register in advance to prevent being shared, and those that are already on the network are on Then the web creates a ‘hash’, These photos were never uploaded or left on the device, A ‘hash’ or unique code, similar to a security pattern or fingerprint, will be what you share with companies participating in the content detection and removal initiative.

achieved to date Removal rate of over 90% And companies participating with them include Facebook, TikTok, Reddit, Instagram, Bumble, OnlyFans or Threads. They also collaborate with various organizations present around the world against the spread of this type of intimate content and cyberbullying. Raquel says, “I am glad that there is so much awareness now and companies have formulated their strategy. My only consolation is to think that now other girls will not have to experience like me.”

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